Three ways not to live, and one way to try

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If you want to make bad decisions, spend your days hurriedly chasing things you’re attracted to, and anxiously fleeing things you’re repelled by.  Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

There are three really bad ways to make decisions, and there is one way which often works much better.

ATTRACTION

Attraction can make some horrendously bad decisions.

If you want to really ruin your life, then why not try simply going for whatever attracts you?

At the food counter, go for the highly refined carbs.  In terms of people, go for the ones you feel this irresistible attraction towards.  In terms of buying, make sure you purchase everything you want.

This should ensure that your body gets uncomfortably unhealthy, your relationships are based on temporary need, and you end up owing the world more than it owes you.

REPULSION

If you get bored of making decisions based on attraction, then you can always try repulsion for a change.

Anger, in particular, is a great way of stimulating fear and chaos in your life.  Simply identify anything that irritates you, focus on it, and then flap around making defensive gestures designed to eliminate the source of the irritation.

In relationships, bark complaints at other people, or even better, reject them completely.  In particular, find the people you were just a moment ago temporarily attracted to, give them a piece of your mind, and run away.  This should thoroughly confuse them.  Fortunately for you, humans are addicted to mixed messages… so the attraction-repulsion method should ensure your life is full of nicely paradoxical codependent relationships.

This should help you to make full use of pop music lyrics like ‘I can’t live without you’.  After all, you have learned to make connections based on attraction, and then breakups based on rejection.  Go you.

IGNORANCE

Attraction and repulsion can be quite stressful in the short term.

Alternatively, if you want a slow build-up to ruining your life, then why not try ignorance?

The trick is to maximise the amount of universe you are unaware of and don’t care about.

In making life decisions, try to focus on your local area, and on everything you are extremely familiar with.  Do not, whatever you do, think about anything more than what is in front of your nose – and preferably not even that.

Practice saying to your friends ‘you think too much’.  (This should ensure that, in due course, no one thinks about anything.)

What you are aiming for, is a life where you repeat the same behaviours again and again, without even knowing you are doing them.

AWARENESS

However, if you happen to want to eliminate suffering, and create a lot of love, then you could, as a last resort, try awareness.

The thing about awareness is that it goes around accepting all the time.

‘If I accepted everything,’ you may say, ‘then how can I decide what to accumulate for myself, and what to reject and destroy?’

You may well ask.  People who accept everything are in serious danger of not being subject to attraction and repulsion, and therefore of being free agents.  Nobody wants that.  To be free to walk where you choose with complete self-mastery.  Ridiculous concept.

The other thing about awareness is that it goes around noticing everything all the time.

This is obviously terrible.  Noticing suffering half way around the world might involve travelling there to help.

When you have attractions to stimulate, and repulsions to be angry about, developing the discipline of accepting awareness can be problematic.

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SUMMARY

If you want to suffer, then spend your life getting addicted to what attracts you, or getting angry about what repels you.  Whatever you do, don’t think about things, don’t learn about anything new, and just follow your habits.

However, if you get bored of suffering, then try accepting everything with full awareness.

It might give you the weird sensation of being free.

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